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Full text of "The royal road to emancipation. All wage slaves may start now."

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By E. L. PRATT. 


Price One Penny. 


Published by : 

The Industrial Workers of the World, 

29, Theobald's Road, London, W.C., 1. 

E. H. WILLIAMS, (T.U.) Printer, 232 Devons Road Bow, E 







University of Texar 

Austin, Texas 




The miserable social and economic conditions of 
the working classes have been the subject of innumerable 
books, articles, lectures and sermons in all ages. "How 
the poor live," is a favourite theme of sensational 
writers. We know it only too well. Sometimes we 
feel that we should like to see some attempt made to 
explain Why the poor live. But it is not the purpose 
of this pamphlet to add another to the gruesome pictures 
of the workers' poverty. We are not going to carry 
coals to Newcastle. But we do want to say a word about 
the cause of that poverty, and also to present a plan for 
its cure. 

An insane System. 

The cause of the sufferings and wretchedness of the 
workers, then, is to be found in the system by which 
labour is exploited by capitalists and landowners, and 
awarded only a bare fraction of the wealth it produces. 
Labour produces all the commodities and comforts of 
existence. Without the continuous labour of the many 
all the mechanism of daily life would come to pieces 
Yet, in spite of this fact, the great mass of the men and 
women whose toil produces food, clothing, and shelter 
for all (besides the luxuries of the few) receive only just 
so much as will enable them to -goon with the job' 3 
The rest is forcibly taken from them by a mere handfui 


of idlers, who have been cunning and powerful enough 
to sei/e the sources of supply. It is the labour of the 
workers that brings all the food to market. Yet they 
are the worst fed. It is the labour of the workers that 
provides every stitch of human clothing. Yet they are 
the worst clad. It is the labour of the workers that 
builds all the houses. Yet oftentimes many of them 
have not where to lay their heads. This is not only un- 
fair; it is insane. Religion condemns such a system. 
Nature rebels against it. Morality frowns on it. Logic 
laughs at it. Honesty repudiates it, and commonseuse 
kicks it out of court. Yet the workers put up with it. 
What are we going to do about it ? 

Below the Salt. 

Education has done something to open the eyes 
of the masses to the cause of this gross injustice. Their 
Trade Unions have gone a little way (a very little way) 
towards grappling with the evil thing. But after every 
effort has been made it still remains a fact that the waee 
earners, who comprise 75 per cent of the population of 
the world, possess only about one fourth of the wealth 
they create. The bulk of it is extorted from them in 
the form of rent, profits, interest and usury. And so it 
comes about that the party which as regards numbers is 
in a gigantic majority, is compelled to sit at the foot of 
the table of life, and accept the merest scraps of the 
good things with which their labour (and their labour 
alone) has loaded the board. 

Secret of the Failure. 

The whole secret of the failure to alter this in- 
human system lies in the defectiveness of the workers' 
organisations. They will never succeed till they have 
tried something different. Only by a thorough re-or- 


ganisatiou on the lines of Class, and not of trade or sec- 
tion, and by a world-wide unity of action instead of the 
present method of isolated strikes, can power ever be 
acquired and economic liberty realised. 

The Remedy. 

The Industrial Workers of the world is the only 
organisation through which the wage-slaves can achieve 
their emancipation. The I.W.W. proposes to take up 
this question at the right end, and organise the workers 
on the industrial field, because it is on the industrial Afield 
they are exploited. Its immediate objects are to force 
the employers to raise wages, shorten hours, and improve 
conditions all round. Its ultimate object is so to weaken 
the power of the capitalist class that the workers, by reas- 
on of their solid Class Consciousness and perfect unity, 
will be able to step in and take over the entire machin- 
ery and products of industry, and to own them, run 
them and enjoy them with no man to say them nay. 

Fundamental Principles 
of the I. W. W. 

1. There are two socially antagonistic classes in the 
world: — 

(a) The exploiting class. 

(b) The exploited class. 

2. A universal struggle exists between these two 

3. The struggle originates at the point of production. 

4. The struggle must go on until the workers are 
in a position to abolish the wage system, and con- 
trol production for themselves. 

5. An injury to one worker is an injury to all work- 

Form of Organisation 
of the I. W. W. 

i, All workers in one industry (building, for exam- 
ple) in (first) one Local; (second) one National, 
and (third) one International Industrial Union. 

2. All workers in all kindred industrial unions (e.g. 
Engineering, metal workers, etc.,) organically link- 
ed up in one Industrial Departmental Administra- 

3. All workers in all Departments connected in one 
General Executive Industrial Administration. 

4. The membership of the I.W.W. constitutes the 
Supreme Directing Authority through the general 
referendum- that is, the referring of all questions 
of policy to the opinion and votes for the workers. 

Methods of the I.W.W. 

i. All members must at all times act in concert, 
For example:— In case of a strike in one factory 
every worker must go out, and leave the factory 
entirely. Furthermore, all workers in all indust- 
ries throughout the jurisdiction of the I.W.W. must 
act as one against that factory. 

2. All workers of all Industrial Unions and Depart- 
ments may be called out on strike if need be. 

3. The hours may be decreased without strike. Say 
it is decided to work eight hours only. The policy 
would be to stop work after the eight hours was up, 
whatever the bosses might say, or do. 

4. The Opportune Strike. This means that workers 
would go on strike whenever it seemed that such 
action would take the capitalists at a special disad- 
vantage. For instance: —when they had work 
that must be done immediately. 


University of Texas 

Austin, Texas 

5. Final Universal Strike. All workers to remain 
within the industrial institutions, lock the em- 
ployers out, commandeer the plant, and so give 
the parasites of Labour a chance of becoming 
useful members of society. 

The Goal of the I.W.W. 

By means of Industrial Organisation, the I.W.W. 
seeks to realise the historic mission of the Working 
Class, viz., the overthrow of Capitalism and all other 
forms of exploitation, the abolition of wage slavery on 
which the Class Struggle is founded, and the final 
emancipation of the workers from the tyranny of the 

An Appeal to ALL Men 
and Women Workers. 

The interest of the I.W.W. is the interest of all. 
By it we are striving to evolve a system of society which 
will make war impossible, enable the workers to enjoy 
the full fruits of their industry, and elevate the race to 
a higher level of intellectual and physical development 
than it has ever yet attained. 

The I.W.W. means the combination of all for the 
benefit of each. 

For further information regarding the I.W.W., and for 
explanatory literature on the new industrial movement, write 
to the General Secretary, I.W.W., 29 Theobald's Road, London, 

Read also '" Industrial Unionism," the most powerful 
pamphlet on the subject produced in this country (16 p.p. 
Price 3d.). 

Subscribe to Solidarity, the popular organ of Rank and 
File workers. Monthly Id. A quire (26 copies) Is. 6d. post free. 

Order your copies of this pamphlet from the I.W.W. at 
above address. 

58 >0 

Continue your study of Industrial Unionism 



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